By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Madison County has a new economic development director.
David Kell, a resident of Springfield, will head up the day-to-day operations of the Madison County Future Inc. Community Improvement Corp. (CIC), the economic development arm of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce. He starts the job on Nov. 11.
For the past six years, Kell worked for the Greene County Department of Development, most recently as director. He also served as a community development specialist in Lorain County. He earned a bachelor’s degree in planning, public policy and management from the University of Oregon in 2006 and a master’s degree in public administration from Wright State University in 2010.
As for what attracted him to the job in Madison County, Kell said, “It is a great community… There are a lot of opportunities and assets in the area.”
He said he is excited about the amount of acreage ready for development and the connections to be made for workforce development through Tolles Career and Technical Center in Plain City.
Kell views economic development as a team effort. He plans to meet with stakeholders around the county to assess challenges and opportunities. He said his first tasks are to “engage in the community, look for opportunities for collabora-tion, and evaluate the strategic plan.”
“In talking with David, there was very little, if any, ‘I.’ It was always ‘we.’ That’s what we need,” said Dustin Parker, CIC president.
Bill Blazer, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, said Kell stood out among the other job candidates for his experience with counties similar in population to that of Madison County.
Kell’s potential for making regional connections that could benefit the county was a major factor in his hiring. He has strong ties with the Dayton Development Coalition and has worked with Columbus 2020, an economic development organiza-tion representing 11 central Ohio counties.
“I’ve been around long enough to see Greene County grow into a powerhouse… It’s important knowing (Kell) has been involved in a community that has grown so well and done so well economically,” said Madison County Commissioner David Dhume.
The county commissioners are investing $200,000 in county funds over the next three years to support the economic development director position. Kell will be a full-time employee of the CIC and report to Blazer.